Walk into any gym today, and you’re bound to see numerous people doing lots of different compound exercises: deadlifts, squats, bench press, overhead press, pull-ups, and many others.
But have you ever wondered what the point is? After all, isolation exercises like bicep curls seem like a much easier way of getting fit. So why do we have to do compound exercises, and what benefits can we expect to reap?
Let’s take an in-depth look.
- They Are Fantastic For Building Strength
If you want to get physically stronger, then you need to incorporate compound exercises into your training. They are fantastic for building our overall strength because they force multiple muscle groups to work together to move the weight.
Because of that, it’s not uncommon to build impressive strength and work up to several hundred pounds on some exercises.
Being physically stronger is excellent because it improves your posture. It also makes you more athletic, allows you to age more gracefully, helps you maintain a high quality of life, and aids you in your everyday tasks.
- They Build Overall Balance and Coordination
Consider an isolation exercise such as knee extensions:
Sure, it does a great job of training your quads, but you can’t expect much else from it.
Now, think about a compound exercise such as the barbell front squat. It’s difficult, it tests your upper back and ab strength, and it trains your quads quite well. What’s more, because your entire body has to work as one to move the weight, you build a lot more balance and intermuscular coordination.
- They Have Sport-Specific Applications
Most professional athletes and sports players do various compound exercises precisely because they allow them to excel at their sport.
Thanks to the fact that compound exercises improve our intermuscular coordination, balance, and strength, we can use them to become better athletes.
- They Allow Us To Train Efficiently
Let’s take the bench press as an example – a common exercise most people use to strengthen their chest, triceps, and shoulders. With a single activity, you fundamentally work three different muscle groups.
Now, if you were to achieve the same effect with isolation exercises, you would need to do three different movements – one for each of these muscles.
Compound exercises are a fantastic, effective, and efficient way of training because they allow you to train multiple muscle groups at once and gain a lot more benefit from each repetition you do.
- You Can Do Them In Many Ways
Perhaps the greatest advantage of compound exercises is that you can do them in numerous ways. For example, if you have access to a bench and barbell, you can do bench press for your chest.
If you don’t have any equipment, you can get on the floor and do a few sets of push-ups. If the classic push-up is too easy, you can do more advanced variations such as pike push-ups, plyometric push-ups, and one-arm push-ups. You can even use equipment such as heavy-duty resistance bands to make the classic push-up more challenging.
The truth is, there are plenty of great ways to do most compound exercises, and you can use resistance bands to make these movements more challenging.